The importance of getting enough vitamins is something we’re told throughout our lives. Understanding how much of each vitamin we need and where we can source these vitamins from can be difficult when there are so many different types. If you’re looking to take a daily dose of vitamins, it’s important to understand how much of each vitamin you should be taking, whether that be through the consumption of foods or supplements.
We’ve broken down the different types of vitamins and their recommended daily dosage. We’ll tell you how much of each vitamin is in different foods, and how supplements can be incorporated into your daily diet.
Firstly, you’ll need to understand the different terms used on packaging or websites to measure vitamin dosage:
- RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) and AI (Adequate Intake) are the amounts of vitamins you need to keep healthy.
- UT or UL (Upper Level Intake) is the maximum amount of vitamins you can safely take without risk of overdose or side effects.
- Milligram (mg) and micrograms (μg or mcg) are the different dosage measurements.
How much Vitamin C per day?
Vitamin C is an important vitamin that supports normal growth and development and helps our bodies absorb iron. The recommended daily intake from the NHS is 40mg of Vitamin C a day for adults ages 19-64, but they state the upper level intake as 1,000mg.
Our bodies don’t store or produce Vitamin C meaning we need to include it in our diets. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables including:
- Citrus fruits (oranges and orange juice)
- Brussels sprouts
For most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of Vitamin C, but if you don’t eat the foods above, or need more Vitamin C than the adequate amount, then supplements can be key in providing a good foundation for your diet.
How much Vitamin D & D3 you should take daily?
Vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fairly common vitamin that we consume through sunlight and helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Vitamin D helps keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
Vitamin D3 comes from mostly animal-sourced foods and has been shown to be more effective, providing greater benefits for our health. Our Vitamin D3 capsules are made from Vita-algae D™, sourced from algae and lichen. Making them suitable for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and for those who are lactose intolerant.
Vitamin D can be found in some foods such as:
- Oily fish- salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods – such as fat spreads and breakfast cereals
From late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the Vitamin D they need from sunlight. However, as it’s difficult to get enough Vitamin D from food alone, government advice says everyone should consider taking a supplement containing 10μg (micrograms) of Vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
The government recommend you should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement throughout the year if you:
- Are not often outdoors
- Are in an institution, i.e. a care home
- Usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors
The NHS states that you should not take more than 100μg a day. This applies to adults, the elderly, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children between 11 and 17 years old.
How much Omega 3 per day?
Omega 3, or fish oil, supports your brain, eyes, heart and prevents inflammation in your body. Our bodies don’t make Omega-3 fatty acids which means you must get them from your diet. Some fish oils also contain Vitamin A and D meaning they can be an easy source for consuming multiple vitamins.
There are different types of Omega-3s but those present in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Most food sources contain other Omega-3s that don’t have the same benefits as EPA and DHA. If you don’t eat enough oily fish regularly, taking Omega-3 fish oil supplements can give your health a great boost.
Though there is no official recommended daily intake of fish oil, the recommended total intake of combined EPA and DHA is 250–500 mg. The RDI for total omega-3 is 1,100 mg for women and 1,600 mg for men, this is EPA and DHA plus those Omega-3s contained in some foods. The upper level intake is 3,000mg and is considered safe for adults.
The NHS recommends that you should eat at least 1 portion (140g) of oily fish a week. Oily fish include:
For those taking omega-3 fish oil supplements, you should remember that these are also high in Vitamin A because fish store Vitamin A in their livers. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition advises that if you are taking supplements containing Vitamin A, you should have no more than 1.5mg a day from your food and supplements combined.
Vitamin intake table
|Recommended Intake per day
|Foods that contain the Vitamin
|Beef liver, eggs, fish, fortified milk, butter, cheddar cheese, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, mangoes.
|Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
|Peas, some fresh fruits, nuts, whole grain bread, fortified breakfast cereals, liver.
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2
|Milk, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, mushrooms, plain yoghurt.
|Niacin (Vitamin b3)
UL: 17mg of nicotinic acid supplements or 500mg of nicotinamide supplements
|Meat, fish, wheat flour, eggs.
UL: 10mg, unless advised to by a doctor
|Pork, poultry, some fish, peanuts, soya beans, wheatgerm, oats, bananas, milk, fortified breakfast cereals.
|Folate and Folic Acid
|Broccoli, brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, peans, chickpeas and kidney beans, liver, fortified breakfast cereals.
|Meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals.
|Citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes.
|Adults and children over 4: 10μg in the autumn and winter
|Oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fortified foods.
|Plant oils, nuts and seeds, wheatgerm.
|Adults: Approx 1μg for each kg of their body weight.
|Green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, cereal grains.
|Dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya drinks with added calcium, bread and anything made with fortified flour, fish where you eat the bones.
|Sea fish, shellfish
Women between 19 and 50: 14.8mg
Women over 50: 8.7mg
|Liver, red meat, any type of beans, nuts, dried fruit, fortified breakfast cereals, soybean flour.
|Meat, shellfish, dairy foods, bread, cereal products
Can you take too much of each vitamin?
Each vitamin has an upper level intake that is advised by the Department of Health and Social Care, there’s likely to be no harm if you take any amount below this level. However, taking over this limit can cause harm to your health, for some vitamins these effects are not known.
Taking large amounts of Vitamin C can cause stomach pain, diarrhea and flatulence and these symptoms disappear once you stop taking the supplements. As for Vitamin D, taking too much over an extended period of time can cause too much calcium which can weaken your bones, kidneys and heart.
Keep within the upper level intake and you should be able to avoid these side effects. Only go over the upper level intake if your doctor is advising you to do so.
fourfive Vitamin Supplements
Our vitamin supplements are a perfect way to make sure you’re receiving all the benefits of vitamins on a daily basis as they contain enough of each vitamin for the recommended intake. With a higher than average dosage compared to other vitamin supplements on the market, our Vitamin C, D and Omega-3 supplements are at a great price point and made with no preservatives or unnatural fillers.
We hope this has clarified how much of each vitamin you should be taking. Shop fourfive today and get 20% off when you sign up for our monthly vitamin subscriptions.